Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

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girlwithapearl
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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:52 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

Postby girlwithapearl » Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:21 am

Hi all. I've found this website very helpful in planning my move, which is taking place in about a week.

I've had three estimates for my move from Brooklyn to Boulder--from Flat Rate Movers, White Glove (Bekins) and Molloy Bros (Mayflower). After visiting this website, I ruled out Flat Rate because they make estimates based on cubic feet--even though I liked the fact that their $3750 estimate was binding. (Ironically, it was their representative who told me about movingscam.org, while he was giving me an in-home estimate.)

Molloy/Mayflower gave me an estimate similar to Flat Rate's--$3657 without any additional insurance--but based it on weight (5200 lbs). The estimate was non-binding, but they claim they will never charge me more than 10% over the estimate, regardless of the final weight. (If I were to go with them, I would make sure to get this in writing.)

White Glove/Bekins came to estimate this morning, so I don't yet know the price. But they are going to be giving me two estimates: one a binding-not-to-exceed price based on "actual weights and services," which would only increase if they have to do any packing that was not included in the estimate, and a second binding price (regardless of final weight). Both of these prices are "no excuses" prices, meaning there would be no charges for long carries, stairs, etc. on the other end. (This is good since I don't yet have my apt lined up in Boulder.)

As long as the Bekins estimate(s) came back in the same range as the other two, I was planning to hire them. But then I saw on this website--and on epinions--that Bekins is not highly rated, and I'm starting to worry.

My question is this: should I get more estimates from other companies before I decide? Three seemed like plenty to me before, but now I wonder.

Many thanks!

Diane
Posts: 15824
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Location: Los Angeles

Re: Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

Postby Diane » Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:57 am

Hi - you can search on "White Glove" AND Bekins to see what has been said about this company. However, to save you time I just did it and I found that this was the most useful thread because it contains the only review we have a completed move with them, from NYC to FL - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5183 As you will see, I was skeptical but it worked out OK for this particular person. She had a very low Binding estimate and the truck was not weighed.

My reservations have to do with the distance of your move. It's one thing to move someone NYC to FL and another thing to move someone NYC to CO. Who will actually be moving you? Will it be a driver from White Glove Bekins in the Bronx or a long-haul driver from another Bekins agent? If the latter, one thing to keep in mind is that there is supposedly a 120% turnover of Bekins drivers every year. If I had to guess, I would say that you will probably be OK with Bekins White Glove but there could be service issues like delay. Just make sure that it isn't the scam company White Glove from Jersey City, NJ.

girlwithapearl
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:52 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

Postby girlwithapearl » Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:27 pm

Thank you for the link, Diane.

I'm 99% sure it's going to be a Bekins driver, not a White Glove driver. This is because they tell me they will be picking it up with a White Glove van, taking it back to their warehouse (according to their card they are based in Ridgewood, Queens, not the Bronx, by the way) where it will be transferred to a Bekins van. After reading everything on this site, I would of course prefer if it all stayed on the same van.

So, I'd love to know who you would recommend for a move as long as mine. I've seen you speak well of Dahill, but that's Mayflower, and I already have a quote from Molloy Bros, a Mayflower agent. (I'm only wary of that one because I don't know what kind of parking situation there will be at my apartment in Boulder. If they have to shuttle my stuff because the van can't make it into the lot, they estimate it will cost an extra $1200!)

I'm getting down to the wire--I move a week from Tuesday--so the stress is building! I'd like to get this sorted out as soon as possible, so any suggestions you have would be welcome.

Thanks!
Kelly

Diane
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Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

Postby Diane » Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:51 pm

girlwithapearl wrote:Molloy/Mayflower gave me an estimate similar to Flat Rate's--$3657 without any additional insurance--but based it on weight (5200 lbs). The estimate was non-binding, but they claim they will never charge me more than 10% over the estimate, regardless of the final weight. (If I were to go with them, I would make sure to get this in writing.)

I forgot to respond to this before. Sales reps from many different van lines tell customers this, but the truth is that with a Nonbinding estimate, you can be billed for the excess above 10% (if any) within 30 days of delivery day. You just can't be asked to pay it on delivery day in order to receive your goods. So this is a sort of half-truth.

The van line agent will be charged back this excess amount by the van line and then it's up to the agent to collect the money from the customer. Agents tell me, though, that many agents just give up on billing for this because customers usually don't pay and they don't have the resources to go after them. I have no idea whether the latter is true but a couple of different agents have told me that. So basically if a customer is willing to be a deadbeat, he or she will probably get away with it.

Anyway, back to your question. I am kind of a bad one to ask because I am such a big fan of direct pickups and deliveries, which means that I often think that the freight companies and Delancey and Moovers are the best option. You have to keep that in mind as you read the following. I'm assuming that you won't need a shuttle to access your residence in Brooklyn.

First of all, Dahill seems to be somewhat better than Molloy as an agent, although both are reputable. But just like with White Glove Bekins, neither Dahill nor Molloy will haul your shipment. So it really wouldn't be worth it to get another estimate from Dahill, even though I don't see any reason for you to accept a Nonbinding estimate. They might give you a Binding estimate, but you would be in the same situation with regard to a shuttle. The van line agents charge a lot for shuttles, while Delancey and Moovers charge only what they themselves have to pay to rent a van and hire extra labor. Moovers typically charges only around $200-$400 depending on the size of the load. Are you saying, incidentally, that Bekins will NOT charge for a shuttle in Boulder if one is needed? I find that kind of hard to believe.

Chances are you would be OK with the Bekins driver, even with the transfers and everything, but honestly if it were my shipment I would go either with Broadway Express or with Moovers or Delancey if they happen to have trucks going back then from the East Coast. These are low-cost companies with excellent reviews and your things would be delivered in the same truck they are picked up in. This is just my .02 and I only dare to post it because it's the weekend and the people who work for the van lines may not see it right away. :wink:

girlwithapearl
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:52 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

Postby girlwithapearl » Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:00 pm

Hi Diane,

I am in a huge bind here. I decided to go with Molloy/Mayflower. After the estimator came to my home, I asked for confirmation in writing that my estimate would be binding, not to exceed 110%. I was led by the estimator to believe that this would come from the coordinator. Based on my belief that I would receive this, I cancelled my potential move with Bekins and decided to move with Molloy.

Today, less than a week before my move, I have received my contract from the coordinator. And of course, it is not binding. The coordinator tells me they don't offer binding estimates, ever. Not only that, they say they told me that the 110% part was only on the date of the move, and that I could be billed later for whatever the balance was if it is over the 110%. This is absolutely untrue; they never said this to me.

I feel very deceived, but I don't know what to do because if I cancel these movers I have no one coming to get my stuff next Tuesday--and the new tenant has to move into my apartment on Wednesday.

Molloy estimated my weight higher than Bekins had, so I may be okay--if the weighing is honest. (Plus I've decided not to bring a few things that were part of this estimate, so my weight should be lower still.) But as I already feel deceived, and I do not have a binding estimate in my hands, I'm feeling very uncomfortable.

Do you have any advice for me?

Many thanks,
Kelly

Diane
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Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

Postby Diane » Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:29 pm

Kelly,

Don't panic. The situation is not ideal because you feel that you were misled by your sales rep, and you probably were misled. As I stated above, this type of fudging the truth is very common with reps from many different van lines, not just Mayflower. They tend to gloss over the more unpleasant possibilities to get the sale.

But you will almost certainly be OK with Molloy as far as your final price goes. Molloy is following a standard tariff (price list) and it will weigh the truck. As long as you aren't adding items, you should not have any additional charges except for a possible shuttle charge. I'll actually be kind of surprised if you need a shuttle in Boulder because it doesn't seem that congested to me.

Although this has left a bad taste in my mouth about Molloy, I still think you are better off with Mayflower than you would have been with Bekins. If you want to try calling Moovers (800-248-0251) to see whether they could get you on a truck on Tuesday, you could certainly do so even at this late date. But if you want to stick with Molloy, I really think you will be safe with your Nonbinding estimate.

Whatever you decide, please come back to report.

girlwithapearl
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:52 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

Postby girlwithapearl » Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:56 pm

Thank you, Diane. I needed to hear that! I will go ahead with Molloy. (I don't feel like I have much of a choice, at any rate.) And of course, I'll report back on my experience!!

girlwithapearl
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:52 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

Postby girlwithapearl » Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:25 am

It's the day of the move and I'm happy to say--so far, so good! Just as a recap, I decided to hire Molloy Bros / Mayflower. I don't feel like Molloy has been entirely honest with me, and I feel like they're charging me A LOT ($4200 estimated for 5600 lbs) so I was concerned about things going smoothly. But they seem to have gone fine, at least at pick-up.

The Mayflower driver, Jesus Garcia, arrived at 7am (an hour earlier than scheduled, so I was still in my PJs) with two moving guys wearing Liberty/United sweatshirts. The day is sunny and warm--52 degrees--so all were in a cheerful mood.

There were only two snags, neither at all serious. First, they couldn't park directly in front of my apartment because there were too many cars on the street. (That's Brooklyn for you.) So they had to carry everything to the truck a block away. But Jesus didn't mention anything about a long carry charge, and seemed nonplussed about the situation. At least I live on the first floor, he said.

Second, Jesus handed me a paper to sign that would have waived my right to Full Value Protection insurance. As I've already paid for FVP insurance--$310 worth--I refused to sign. He seemed perplexed, but then relented. I X'd through the signature space and wrote "I've already paid for FVP" next to it, so the company knows that at least he showed it to me.

Once they finished he said he thinks my actual weight will be less than 4000 lbs, which is good news. He also asked if he can deliver my stuff nearly a week earlier than my window for delivery. While this is certainly better than being late, it could end up being wildly inconvenient since I still don't have an apartment out there. (I fly out day after tomorrow to look for a place.) Worst case scenario, they have to deliver my stuff to storage and I hire a company out there to shuttle it to my new place.

So all in all, things look good. The cost could be better, and I'm still worried that there will have to be some sort of shuttle service on the other end which will ratchet up the price by a significant amount. But otherwise, Molloy seems to have done ok so far.

More to come on the receiving end!

Diane
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Location: Los Angeles

Re: Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

Postby Diane » Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:42 am

Good, Kelly!

Did you mean to say that Jesus seemed "nonchalant" rather than "nonplussed" about the block-long carry?

About the FVP thing, because of recent legislation FVP is now the default choice whereas basic coverage of 60 cents a pound used to be the default. So that's probably why Jesus was confused (new forms).

I don't think the van line can charge you for storage in transit if they unload earlier than the first day of your delivery spread, but I'm not sure. I would think they would have to store your things and then deliver them to your residence as part of the original deal rather than your having to pay extra for it.

I was interested to see that Mayflower used Liberty (United) for loading labor.

Note this just posted about White Glove - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 1482#51482 I think you are well out of it for a move of this length.

girlwithapearl
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Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

Postby girlwithapearl » Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:33 pm

Hi Diane,

Yes, I meant nonchalant! Chalk it up to post-move exhaustion.

In fact, after I posted my comments this morning, I fell straight into bed and slept until 1pm, when there was a knock on my door. I got up and discovered a quality control agent from Molloy standing there, wanting to interview me about the move so far.

He asked how I had liked Tom, my estimator. I told him he was fine, but that I didn't think he was entirely honest with me--that I had asked him to give me a binding estimate and that he neglected to tell me that Molloy never gives truly binding estimates. The QC guy apologized and said Tom should have told me I would never be charged more than 10% over the estimate, as long as what I put on the truck was the same as what was on the estimate. In fact, Tom DID tell me that, but I never had it in writing--all I had in writing was a contract that said "Non-Binding" at the top. The QC guy seemed satisfied that Tom did what he was supposed to do, but noted on his paper that I wasn't completely satisfied.

He asked me about Jesus, and I told him he was great. I said the only question I had was about the insurance waiver. He apologized and said I was right not to sign. He said that was meant only for those clients who opted to use their own homeowner's insurance as their protection, rather than buying from Mayflower. He said he'd mention it to Jesus. Truth is, there's no way Jesus could have known that I had bought insurance, since the only paperwork he had was blank--he didn't even know what my estimated weight was. So it seems like there's a communication problem there. (A little one, as long as the company is honest. Which I'm starting to think they might in fact be.)

He asked me some other various questions--about the moving coordinator, Diane; about whether a Mayflower truck or a United truck had come to pick up my stuff (it was Mayflower)--and then he gave me his card and told me to call him if I had any questions or problems going forward.

I have to say, this seemed pretty over the top in terms of customer service. I was impressed. I mean, I guess it's not too extraordinary when you take into consideration that I'm a customer worth over $4000 to them. But after seven years in NYC I haven't come to expect any "extras" when it comes to service, and this was a nice surprise.

Boy am I glad I didn't go with Bekins!!

Kelly

Diane
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Location: Los Angeles

Re: Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

Postby Diane » Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:53 pm

Hmmm . . . pardon me for being a bit cynical, but Molloy could well have been following all of your postings on this website. It has happened before with other companies. But whatever their motivation--getting good PR or whatever--I have to applaud what they did. (Now, what you should have asked them is what happens if your load gets to Boulder before the beginning of the delivery spread . . . :wink: )

That awful report on Bekins White Glove today seemed to have more to do with the packing crew than the driver, but still, I agree that you had a narrow escape.

tlionsden

Re: Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

Postby tlionsden » Fri Jun 16, 2006 12:33 am

I was the quality control field supervisor assigned to that job and NO I DID NOT GO THERE BECAUSE OF THE POSTINGS ON MOVING SCAM. I went there due to the fact that my job is to visit various moves and assist shippers with any questions and evaluate the services supplied to the consumer. As of today, I was not aware of any postings regarding my company.

MusicMom
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Re: Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

Postby MusicMom » Fri Jun 16, 2006 10:02 am

We're just happy the customer had a good move. All that matters.

BigLeeCalif
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Re: Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

Postby BigLeeCalif » Fri Jun 16, 2006 10:18 am

I know this move has been concluded, but what happens if a driver arrives before the first day of the load spread, and the shipper cannot accept the shipment is really left to the van line.

If the driver has a series of deliveries in the same metro area that he can alter and deliver up to the agreed on delivery spread that can be a feasible alternative.

Scenario two is if that is not possible, the van line will instruct the driver to deliver the shipment to a local agent, and the van line will instruct the agent to deliver the shipment during the spread. The van line will compensate the agent at no additional charge to the shipper.

And by the way, at the van line level, my experience with former Bekins shippers is that the main thing that turned them away was their lack of attention and response to claims. Right when I left Chipman one former shipper who went with United sent me his paperwork to assist him on a Bekins claim, and his claim was over $25,000. The head counsel for Bekins had written him saying basically, Sorry Charlie.

Lee
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

Glad to Help

Re: Bekins Really That Bad? (NYC --> Boulder, CO)

Postby Glad to Help » Wed Jun 21, 2006 10:49 am

Diane wrote:Hmmm . . . pardon me for being a bit cynical, but Molloy could well have been following all of your postings on this website. It has happened before with other companies. But whatever their motivation--getting good PR or whatever--I have to applaud what they did. (Now, what you should have asked them is what happens if your load gets to Boulder before the beginning of the delivery spread . . . :wink: )

That awful report on Bekins White Glove today seemed to have more to do with the packing crew than the driver, but still, I agree that you had a narrow escape.


Here in the South West ; it is fairly common to have a quality control supervisor visiting customers, just as was reported by this person that was moving. I have not heard of this practice being done with van line companies in the North East , but it is a huge step in the right direction if this company mentioned or any other employees quality control supervisors for this purpose.


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